KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli today officially opened two-vehicle river bridges worth over R42 million in Ntinini under the Nquthu Local Municipality.
The opening of the Ntinini River Vehicle Bridge and Ntinini White Umfolozi River Vehicle Bridge forms part of the department’s robust service delivery programme during October Transport Month aimed at improving the lives of citizens in rural communities.
Ntinini River Vehicle Bridge is a single lane reinforced concrete vehicular bridge on District Road D1316 off Main Road P16-4. The construction of this bridge will ensure that the Sigqobheleni and Nsubeni communities have convenient access to Bhekisizwe Primary School, Buhlebuyeza Primary School, Hwanqana Primary School, Emacityana Combined School, Enhlopheni School, Ntinini Provincial Clinic, churches and pension pay points.
MEC Ntuli proceeded to officially open Ntinini White Umfolozi River Vehicle Bridge which is located on D1316 and can be accessed via P16/4 from Nquthu. The construction of the bridge serves as a link from the surrounding villages and farms to Nquthu and Ulundi communities who reside on either side of the river.
During the construction phase both infrastructural projects created over 44 local jobs in the area.
The theme for October Transport Month is “Together shaping the future of Transport”. The department will be showcasing transport infrastructure services in roads and public transport throughout the month.
During the launch, MEC Ntuli said the department will continue advancing the Provincial Government’s road safety initiatives and work even harder to improve legislation, intensifying law enforcement operations across the province and promote driver behavioural change to reduce carnage on the road.
“The construction of both bridges will serve as a link that connects communities to economic opportunities. These bridges will also reduce travelling distances and provide the Ntinini community access to public facilities such as schools, hospitals and clinics. Our service delivery programme is also aimed at constructing and maintaining rural roads thereby creating employment opportunities for rural people and making sure that there is a transfer of skills as a benefit to communities,” said MEC Ntuli.
The overall investment allocated to the uMzinyathi District to construct and maintain roads as well as bridged during the 2020/2021 financial year is estimated at R737 million.
To address the issue of the province’s ageing infrastructure, more than 72% of the Department’s budget is spent on infrastructure delivery. This financial year R8.3 billion is allocated to transport infrastructure. As part of striking a delicate balance between construction and maintenance, R3.8 billion is allocated to the construction and another R3.7 billion is allocated to maintenance. Infrastructure planning is allocated R36 million, while infrastructure design is allocated R50 million.
Before the official opening of the bridges, MEC Ntuli this morning joined law enforcement officials during a multi-disciplinary roadblock which forms parts of the Department’s October Transport Month road safety campaign along with P194.
This operation is part of the Department’s ongoing initiatives to increase police visibility and reduce fatalities on the road.
During the roadblock, MEC Ntuli urged law enforcement agencies to deal with motorists who do not obey the rules of the road.
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